An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony
WITH every generation rises a new challenge. People look for answers.
There are millions of people worldwide who have graduated with degrees and doctorates. There have been thousands of books and articles written on how to combat social problems.
Government after government has come to power and public and private organisations have been established to solve our dilemmas and show us the way and trillions of dollars have been applied.
In Papua New Guinea, many people are turning to Christianity hoping that a theocratic government is the solution.
All done with the hope that we might create a society which can live in peace and harmony.
People today seems to blame government as the cause of the problems. We blame the government for poverty, crime, poor education, inadequate health services, impassable roads, and the rest.
Yet we do not realise that government is not responsible for the causes and solutions to most of our problems.
But what if we suggest that men are probably the cause of many problems in society today? We have to admit that the moral standards of men have fallen and we no longer have enough responsible men in society. One of the possible solutions in bringing gutpela sindaun to our society is to help our men become responsible fathers.
PNG needs responsible fathers. We have great men who have contributed a lot to our nation in different ways. Yet we cannot ignore that our society is full of irresponsible husbands and fathers.
Having responsible fathers is crucial in the process of achieving peace and harmony; whether it be a monogamous or polygamous family. In male dominated society, if you try to empower women and children to fight social injustice against men, you will always have retaliation.
Men do not want to lose face or be directly confronted with the truth that they are wrong because we live in a shame culture.
But if we positively empower men to think responsibly without affecting their status in society, it might be possible for them to adapt and change.
A lot of men in a male dominated society don’t want to be led by women. It is much easier for women to follow a responsible father than for an irresponsible father to follow a responsible wife. If men are empowered to become responsible fathers, it’s possible that in the next twenty years, we will have gutpela sindaun in our society.
Families are the main pillar of our society and fathers need to be responsible for building good family foundations. The moral foundation of any group of people is not shaped by the constitution of a country. It is not based on the wealth, economy or religious status of a country. The foundation of a nation begins with the family unit.
A child is born into a family and raised in a family. Families gather to form a community. Our communities make up society. Unless we have strong family foundations, we will never have a strong nation.
Our society does not need more men. It simply needs responsible fathers.
We have fathers who are great leaders in government, religion, community and business, but if they are not leading in their homes they have neglected their primary responsibility.
They have time for other things and yet do not have time for the children they fathered. How can men change the next generation, if they do not shape the very foundation of the generation they have in their hands.
A lot of single men feel they want to get married but it is one thing to feel you are ready for marriage and another to be prepared for marriage. When the hormones in your body change and makes you feel like a man, that does not mean you are ready for marriage. You are not yet ready to be a husband and a father unless you are prepared to be a responsible husband and father.
Being a committed Christian in the church or having a good job does not guarantee you will be a good husband or promise you a good marriage.
Marriage is not an event for the day nor is it a partner for the day. It is a lifetime duty of a responsible husband and father.
In traditional society our fathers taught us that men have to be prepared before taking up their role as husbands and fathers. Sadly today it is no longer the case. We need responsible fathers who can influence the destiny of their children.